The world’s car buyers are ready to go electric, new data shows

Data: EY Mobility Consumer Index; Graphic: Axios Visuals

Consumer interest in electric vehicles has reached a global tipping point, with more than half of car buyers saying they want their next car to be an electric vehicle, according to new research from Ernst & Young.

  • Yes, but: Americans are still not as enthusiastic as European and Asian consumers.

Why is this important: The world is in the midst of a global transition away from gasoline-powered vehicles, driven by environmental concerns and, in some countries, the avoidance of harsh penalties on internal combustion engine vehicles.

Driving the news: 52% of respondents to EY’s annual Mobility Consumer Index looking to buy a car want an EV, according to the survey of 13,000 people in 18 countries.

  • That’s a jump of 22 percentage points in two years, and the first time that interest in electric vehicles has exceeded 50%, the company said.
  • Buyers in Italy (73%), China (69%) and South Korea (63%) were the most interested.
  • Australian (38%) and American (29%) consumers showed less interest.

Between the lines: Government policies likely drive consumer choices in many markets.

  • The European Union, for example, plans to ban sales of conventional gasoline vehicles by 2035.
  • China wants 40% of vehicles sold to be electric by 2030 and has used buyer subsidies and other policy measures to support the transition.
  • In the United States, President Biden has set a goal for 50% of new cars to be electric by 2030. But with gas prices soaring, a proposal to increase tax credits for consumers who choose electric vehicles is now before Congress. repel.
  • For the first time in the survey, 34% of respondents identified increased penalties on conventional cars as a key factor in their buying decision, E&Y found.
  • And 88% say they would pay more for an EV.

A problem that is starting to fade: Range anxiety, especially for second-time electric vehicle owners, the survey showed.

  • As battery technology advances and access to charging infrastructure improves, those concerns will disappear, EY said.

What they say : “These findings truly mark a tipping point in the global car buying market,” said Randy Miller, head of the company’s advanced mobility and manufacturing practice.

  • “There is no doubt that global gas price increases have played a role in driving up the cost of internal combustion engines, but environmental concerns also remain high on the list of motivating factors.”
  • “The old problems of worrying about charging infrastructure and the range of electric vehicles will soon come to an end.”

Where is it : In the United States, electric vehicles accounted for a record 4.6% of new car registrations in the first quarter of 2022, nearly double last year’s 2.4%, according to new data from S&P Global Mobility. .

  • But EV ownership varies widely across the country, ranging from 14.7% in Los Angeles to 1.6% in Detroit.
  • Tesla dominates the electric vehicle market, with 71.1% market share, down slightly from 71.8% a year ago.
  • In the United States, 1.44 million electric vehicles are currently in service, a considerable increase of 40% compared to last year.

Reality check: Overall, electric vehicles still represent less than 1% (0.51%) of all vehicles on US roads.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misrepresented the European Union’s position on conventional gasoline vehicles: it will ban the sale of the vehicles – not the vehicles themselves – and will do so by 2035, not 2030.

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